Liver cancer is a serious disease that can lead to death if left untreated. Fortunately, liver cancer can be treated with radiation therapy. Radiation therapy is one of the most common ways to treat liver cancer. The treatment uses high-energy x-rays to destroy cancer cells. Radiotherapy can be used in conjunction with other treatments, such as chemotherapy, or alone.
Thus, If you consider radiation therapy for liver cancer, you must understand what this treatment entails and how it differs from other therapies like surgery or chemotherapy. This article will cover what kind of side effects you might experience during treatment and when you should see a doctor about them. You must go to the BLK Max Hospital to get your radiation therapy done.
What is Radiation Therapy?
Radiation therapy is a type of cancer treatment that uses high-energy rays or particles to kill cancer cells. These types of radiation are powerful enough to damage the genetic material (DNA) in cancer cells so they can no longer divide and grow. Radiation therapy affects cancer cells only, not normal tissues like most other treatments do. This allows it to be used with fewer side effects like pain, swelling, bleeding, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.
Radiation has also been shown to cause less hair loss than other forms of treatment when used on certain areas such as the head and neck, where more bodily tissue is surrounding the tumour site. It would be great for you to get your liver cancer treatment in Delhi for better results.
What is the procedure for administering radiation therapy?
External beam radiation therapy (EBRT) directs radiation with an external entity at the malignancy. Radiation treatment is similar to receiving an x-ray, except the radiation is more powerful. The operation is painless in and of itself. So every treatment is just a few minutes long, but the preparation period (bringing you into position for therapy) is frequently longer. Moderate dosages are usually delivered five days a week for a few weeks as part of an EBRT therapy.
Since liver cancer cells are vulnerable to radiation, great care is taken during therapeutic interventions to prevent causing as much damage to normal liver tissue as feasible. Newer radiation procedures, including stereotactic body radiation treatment (SBRT), allow surgeons to focus on liver cancers while minimizing radiation exposure to vital cells nearby.
It becomes more effective and has fewer adverse effects as a result. When opposed to EBRT, SBRT offers a faster treatment time. It employs highly targeted high-dose radiation delivered over a single or several days. Beams are focused on the tumour from a variety of directions.
The patient is placed in a specially built body frame for every treatment to concentrate the radiation accurately. This form of radiation might well be utilized in persons waiting for a liver transplant and having minor malignancies.
Radioembolization is a treatment that involves delivering radiation to the tumour through tiny particles. During this procedure, which is performed under X-ray imaging guidance, chemotherapy drugs are attached to small beads containing yttrium-90 microspheres and injected into your liver artery (hepatic artery). The beads travel to the tumours within your liver, where they deliver high doses of radioactive Yttrium 90.
The great thing about radioembolization is that it can be done in an outpatient setting with only local anesthesia required for most patients. Many people go back home on the same day as their procedures if no complications arise during their treatments. Patients also do not require any sedation or general anesthesia like other forms of cancer would need because there are no incisions.
Radiation treatment for liver cancer may have unintended consequences
The following are some of the most prevalent radiation treatment adverse effects:
- Redness, peeling, and blistering are common skin changes in areas exposed to radiation
Radiation therapy is a common treatment option for liver cancer. Radiation causes damage to the DNA of cells, which leads to cell death. To minimize side effects from radiation treatments, doctors often prescribe pharmaceuticals that can help repair some of this damaged tissue and prevent normal healthy cellular material from being destroyed.
Unfortunately, these medicines may not always work and lead to other unintended consequences such as redness, peeling or blistering in areas exposed to radiation; diarrhea; fatigue; nausea and vomiting; nerve pain (radiculopathy); low blood counts causing an increased risk of infection due to lower numbers of white blood cells (neutropenia), red blood cells (anemia).
- Radiation-induced liver disease
The risk of developing radiation-induced liver disease increases if you have multiple tumours that need treating or large tumour volumes in an area treated with total doses greater than 50 (Gray). Radiation therapy can cause nausea and vomiting, which are usually managed with medication.
These side effects tend to diminish over time as the body adjusts to treatment. Treatment plans may be adjusted, so your doctor aims high dose beams at one location while protecting healthy surrounding tissues from too much exposure. You may also consider going to Nanavati Hospital to treat your liver disease.
Diarrhea is the frequent passing of loose, unformed stools. Diarrhea can be caused by many conditions, including infections and other diseases that attack the intestines or food pipe (esophagus).
Fatigue is a common side effect of radiation therapy. It can vary widely from person to person and may become more severe as the course continues. Fatigue will be worse during periods when your body is actively growing new cells, such as after chemotherapy or following surgery (particularly if you received transfusions).
The Bottom Line
Radiation therapy for liver cancer may be an option if you have liver cancer and surgery is impossible. You must speak with your doctor about all the available treatment options so that together, you can decide on a plan of action.